Bloomberg reports that the new mask policy was announced in an internal memo to retail employees today. Apple is making the switch based on the drop in COVID-19 cases and the increase in vaccinations.
The change will take place from more than 100 of the company’s 270 stores in the United States before gradually expanding to other stores in the coming days. The warrant will be removed from select stores in states such as California, Florida, Arizona, New York, Louisiana, New Jersey, and Connecticut.
In the memo, Apple explained that the new policy applies to buyers regardless of their vaccination status.
“After careful consideration, the Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) team, as well as management, have determined that it is safe to update our mask guidelines for customers in your store,” according to the memo. . “Positive trends in vaccinations, testing and the number of cases in your area have made this change possible. The new policy will apply to clients regardless of their immunization status.
“The health and safety of our teams and customers remains our top priority,” Apple also told staff. “We will continue to monitor local guidelines and Covid data in your area throughout the holiday season, and make any necessary adjustments. ”
Apple employees will still need to wear masks, with the company explaining that “team members have longer interactions in-store and are nearby throughout the day.” Customers will also be required to wear masks in areas where local governments require.
This is the second time Apple has abandoned its mandate as a mask for shoppers in retail stores. The last time around, the company finally reimplemented the requirement as cases of COVID-19 increased.
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